Thrawn was a Chiss male who served as an officer in the Imperial Navy, holding the rank of Grand Admiral in the years prior to the Battle of Yavin. Thrawn, the commander of the Seventh Fleet, was promoted by the Emperor, Darth Sidious, following the Battle of Batonn. In its aftermath, Governor Arihnda Pryce of Lothal requested Thrawn's expertise to eliminate the rebels who operated in her sector. Believing in the importance of understanding an enemy's culture, art, and philosophy to defeat them, the Grand Admiral set out on a strategy to destroy the growing rebellion before it could become a true threat to the Galactic Empire's reign over the galaxy.

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